Llanelli, St Elli
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 12th century tower
Some time in the 'Age of Saints' (the 5th or 6th century) a monastery was founded at what is now Llanelli, on a spot that had been used for pagan worship. The monastic site would have had a church of timber, but in the 12th century this was rebuilt in stone, forming the basis of the St Elli's we see today.
The oldest part of the current building is the 12th century tower, while the chancel dates to the 15th century. The building was heavily restored in the Victorian period, and again in 1906. On the latter occasion the woodwork was renewed, and the carvers left a series of 13 mice, each carved with the name of the woodworker. In 1574 Elizabeth I gave St Elli's a silver chalice, which is now used only twice a year, on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.
Who was Elli?
The answer to this question is lost in time. One theory is that Elli is a corruption of Ellyw, and she was a daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, a 5th century ruler and first king of Brecknockshire who gave his name to the town of Brecon. There is a church dedicated to St Ellyw at Llanelieu in Powys.
About Llanelli, St Elli
Address: Bridge Street, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales, SA15 3UF
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Off the A484
Website: Llanelli, St Elli
OS: SN507 005
Photo Credit: Ruth Sharville, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Loughor Roman Fort - 3.9 miles (Roman Site)
Loughor Castle - 3.9 miles (Castle)
Weobley Castle - 5.2 miles (Castle)
Mount Pleasant Church - 5.2 miles (Historic Church)
Llanrhidian, St Rhidian and St Illtyd - 5.2 miles (Historic Church)
Llanmadoc, St Madoc Church - 6.2 miles (Historic Church)
Reynoldston, St George Church - 6.7 miles (Historic Church)
Parc le Breos Burial Chamber - 6.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
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